Today is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which acknowledges the effort and struggle of people living in poverty. Low-income countries tend to have large informal sectors, greater prevalence of self-employment and subsistence agriculture, low female labor force participation rates, and poor labor market conditions. As labor is most often the only asset of someone in poverty, policies that are not associated with job creation, such as education and entrepreneurship programs, may fail to reduce poverty.
Developing countries often face two well-known structural problems which can lead to poverty: high youth unemployment and high inequality.This is especially prevalent in Africa which is projected to have the youngest and largest labor force in the world in the coming decades. Abebe Shimeles suggests that expanding higher education might solve rising youth unemployment in Africa. He says that as the global economy is becoming increasingly knowledge-driven, investment in vocational and higher education is important for developing countries to remain competitive.
Another characteristic of the labor force in developing countries is that a majority of the workforce is self-employed, usually in low-paying work that keeps them in poverty. In her article Entreprenership for the poor in developing countries, Yoonyoung Cho says that “fostering entrepreneurship is widely perceived to be critical for expanding employment and earning opportunities and for reducing poverty.” These programs vary in design, which affect their impact on outcomes. However, recent studies have identified some promising approaches that are yielding positive results, such as combining training and financial support.
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How do social networks affect labor markets? Job-referral networks can make labor markets more productive and efficient but may increase the importance of luck in job matches.
How do adult returns to schooling affect children's enrollment? Raising future expected monetary gains to schooling and poor families' current incomes promotes school enrollment in developing countries.
Do schooling reforms also improve long-run health? It is difficult to find consistent evidence that schooling reforms provide health benefits.
The effect of emigration on home-country political institutions; Migrants can have positive political effects on their home countries' institutions.
ICID/IZA/Renmin University/UCW Workshop on the Chinese labor market in transition, November 18-19. This workshop wants to bring together junior and senior researchers who analyze the Chinese labor market in a rigorous fashion. While we invite contributions covering any aspect of labor market adjustment in China, one focus of the workshop will be the experience of young Chinese workers, where we are particularly interested in school-to-work transitions of young workers and in youth who enter the labor market early.
Call for papers: IZA Workshop on Social and Welfare Consequences of Unemployment, March 3-4. In the aftermath of the Great Recession unemployment rates remain high in many countries, with an increasing trend of long-term unemployment. Against this background we are pleased to invite submissions for the IZA Workshop on Social and Welfare Consequences of Unemployment. Researchers interested in participating should submit a full paper or extended abstract by November 30, 2016.